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What Teams are in the NBA Playoffs

The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) playoffs are a postseason competition to decide the league’s champion. The NBA playoffs are an annual best-of-seven elimination tournament that takes place following the regular season and the league’s preliminary postseason competition, the NBA Play-In Tournament.

NBA Playoffs Format

The playoffs are open to the top six clubs in each conference (East and West), as determined by their win-loss records. The first tie-breaker for playoff seeding and home-court advantage is head-to-head results between tied teams, while the second tie-breaker is whether a club won its division championship.

Both conferences use the standard bracket format for their playoffs. All rounds are played in a best-of-seven format. The 2-2-1-1-1 describes the format of the series where the team the advantage f playing home hosts games 1, 2, 5, and 7, while their opposition hosts games 3, 4, and 6, with the 5th, 6th, and 7th games being played if required. The bracket is determined once the playoffs begin; teams are never “reseeded,” as is the case in the National Football League (NFL), where the best surviving teams face the weakest teams in successive rounds. On October 23, 2013, NBA team owners unanimously opted to modify the structure of the NBA finals from 2–3–2 to this format, which has been in use since 2014.

New Changes in the NBA Playoffs

Covid-19 came with it new adjustments for the NBA; some interesting changes were also introduced in the postseason for the 2020-21 season. The NBA’s executives apparently enjoyed the new structure so much in that they opted to include it in the upcoming 2021-22 season. The playoffs will be contested in the same manner as before, but other teams will be required to compete in a ‘play-in tournament’ before being eligible to compete in the playoffs.

The Play-in tournament will take place between April 12 and 15, 2022, and the new format will pit clubs seeded 7-10 in the regular season against one another for a spot in the playoffs. Teams 7 and 8 from each conference will compete in a three-game round to defend their playoff spots.

The victor of the above-mentioned round advances to the seventh round of the playoffs. The loser of that round will have to compete against the winner of the play-in tournament’s 9th and 10th matchups. The final game will be between the first-round loser (7th-8th team) and the winner of the second-round game (9th-10th team), with the winner earning the 8th seed in the playoffs.

NBA Playoffs and the Play-In Tournament

The first six spots in the playoffs will have no bearing on the new play-in tournament; as has been the case for numerous reasons, the best six players from each conference will get direct entry to the playoffs. The 7th-10th seeds of the regular season were the only ones who were subjected to the change.

The Playoffs will be operated in a similar manner as before, with a full bracket of 16 teams. All games will be played in a best-of-seven format, with the series taking into consideration home advantage for teams with 1, 2, and 5 at home and 7 at home (if needed). The remaining games will be played on the road (3, 4, 5, 6 if needed).

The conference semifinals will include the eight first-round winners, with the best-of-seven format determining the four teams that will progress to the Conference Finals, which will culminate in the NBA Finals.

How Watch the NBA Playoffs

If you are on cable, the NBA Playoffs are broadcasted live on TNT, ESPN, and ABC in the United States and TSN in Canada. These channels can also be accessed online on their different websites by logging in with your cable TV provider account.

If you don’t have cable, the NBA usually livestreams on ABC, ESPN, TNT, and TCN. Any live TV streaming service that offers the above channels can allow to to watch the NBA Playoffs and the Finals. There are various options to watch the game online with no subscription to cable service and also allow you to catch up on the game if you are out of the U.S.

  • Express VPN

Sells at $6.67 monthly with an annual plan, $10 monthly with a six-month plan, or $13 every month. The annual plan guarantees you a three-month free service.

Depending on your location, certain TV streaming services, and video-on-demand (SVOD) providers restrict access to content. If you want to watch NBA games while traveling outside of the U.S., a virtual private network (VPN) allows you to check-in legally and securely to servers located outside of the United States. ExpressVPN allows you to connect to its high-speed servers in 94 countries while keeping your personal information private and secure.

  • DirectTV Stream

Priced at about $70 every month. Customers have access to TNT, ESPN, and ABC.

DirectTV claims that other streaming platforms do not offer as many regional sports networks or live local sports as they do. Their Entertainment package ($70 every month) offers over 65 additional channels, while other options range from $84 to $140 every month and include 90 to 140 channels. When new members sign up by April 30, they will receive $30 off their first three months.

  • Hulu with Live TV

Priced at about $70 every month for the ad-supported bundle and $76 for the ad-free package. Both bundles have access to platforms such as ESPN+, Disney+, and channels such as TNT, ESPN, ABC, and NBA TV. It also includes 75 other major sports, entertainment, and cable news channels. For an extra monthly fee, you can add Starz, HBO Max, Cinemax, and Showtime. The structure of the NBA Playoffs has continued changing ever since the sport began, with the latest changes occuring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest changes were well-liked by the managers and have stayed on into the current season. Following a wild first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs, the Warriors seem highly likely to win with the strongest offense in the league and third-best in net rating.